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Cost analysis: Jaguar XE

Date: 23 April 2015   |   Author: Tristan Young

A new vehicle's whole-life costs are the single most critical consideration when it comes to its chances of success in the business car marketplace. With the help of experts at KwikCarcost, Tristan Young takes a look at the running costs data for the newest challenger in the crucial premium upper medium segment - the Jaguar XE.

For years the premium upper medium segment has been locked out to all but three players: BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Now Jaguar is hoping its XE will jump straight into this group and become the brand's biggest-selling car.

The XE has the right credentials to succeed in the business car arena. CO2 emissions figures start from 99g/km, which leads the established group, and power from the 2.0-litre diesel equals that of the BMW and Audi at 163hp.

This low CO2 figure and therefore 17% benefit-in-kind banding, together with a very strong residual value from KwikCarcost of 43.7% at three years/60,000 miles, means low whole-life costs and a competition-beating cost per mile of 55.2p for the SE manual version. This is a full 5p per mile better than the next nearest rival, the Mercedes C-class in C220 CDI SE form. And the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 are more expensive per mile than that.

Specification is competitive too, with satellite navigation standard, as well as more common items such as parking sensors, Bluetooth, climate control and alloy wheels to keep the user chooser happy. This spec, plus impressive figures for official fuel consumption and insurance at 75.0mpg and group 22 respectively mean drivers and businesses should be happy.

And even though the P11D figure for the 2.0D SE manual is higher than that of the Audi and BMW, that strong RV figure means depreciation is by far the lowest in the sector.

If you want to get picky, the downsides are a fractionally slower 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds.
The Audi records 8.3 seconds, the BMW 8.0 seconds and the Mercedes C-class  7.7 seconds.
The boot space is also smaller than that for the three main rivals - they all record 480 litres while the XE comes in at 455 litres.

And for those covering mega miles the XE has the smallest range. Despite that 75.0mpg official figure, a 47-litre fuel tank means drivers will go 'only' 776 miles between fills, whereas the 320ed will go 846 miles, the A4 Ultra 933 miles and the C220 CDI 1025 miles per tank.

However, overall Jaguar has developed a car which is in a strong position to upset the status quo in the premium upper medium sector which has long been dominated by the main three German brands.

Jaguar XE 2.0d SE 163

P11D price                                     £29,72
Vehicle Excise Duty                             £0
National Insurance                          £2215
Fuel consumption                        75.0mpg
CO2 (tax)                             99g/km (17%)
BIK 20/40% per month                £84/£168
Warranty                            3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space                                 455 litres
Engine size/power               1999cc/163hp
+ Newest model, strong RV and low CO2

- Small fuel tank, small boot


Key rival: Audi A4

The Audi A4 has now been on the market in its current guise for some time and its replacement is due for reveal later this year. Despite this, it still remains a strong contender and has a fractionally stronger RV, at 33.9%, than its main rival the BMW 3-series, at 33.0%.

In fact, the market is so competitive that the A4 saloon 2.0 TDI Ultra SE Technik manual is near identical on the numbers with the 4dr BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics manual.

The A4 is £185 higher in P11D, but the stronger RV neutralises that stat. The only other notable difference is the Audi's SMR costs, which are £425 higher over three years.

All the figures balance in terms of cost per mile, which sits at 62.4p - the same as the BMW.

Audi A4 Saloon 2.0 TDI Ultra SE Technik 163

P11D price                                                                                          £29,605
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                                                   £40
National Insurance                                                                                 £2451
Fuel consumption                                                                              67.3mpg
CO2 (tax)                                                                                 109g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                                                     £94/£187
Warranty                                                                                  3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space                                                                                        480 litres
Engine size/power                                                                     1968cc/163hp
+ Well equipped and attractive package
- Starting to show its age

Key rival: BMW 3-series

The one-time market leader and near-default choice for fleets now has far stiffer competition. However, it's testament to BMW's Efficient Dynamics technology that only recently has the CO2 emissions figure for the 320d been bettered by rivals.

Against its German rivals (and the Jaguar XE) the residual value is starting to soften and now stands at 33.0%, though a revised 3-series is due later this year. However, competitive pricing, reasonable kit levels and seemingly ever-lasting driver appeal have kept the whole-life costs in line with, if not at the front of, the competition.

Highlights include low SMR bills and low P11D value, which mean the car comes in at 62.4 pence per mile.

BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics 163

P11D price                                                              £29,420
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                        £40
National Insurance                                                     £2436
Fuel consumption                                                   68.9mpg
CO2 (tax)                                                      109g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                           £93/£186
Warranty                                                       3yrs/unltd miles
Boot space                                                              480 litres
Engine size/power                                           1995cc/163hp
+ Lightest car in this group, also lowest P11D
- CO2 needs to improve to make progress

Key rival: Mercedes C-class

Up until the Jaguar XE arrived, the Mercedes C-class was the newest model in this market, and since the start of this year it's also been the best seller.

And until the XE came along, it was also the costs winner in this class - which may go some way to explain it's 'best seller' tag.

The competitive costs are down to a low CO2 emissions figure of 103g/km for the C220 CDI SE manual, strong 38.5% residual value and an official fuel figure of 70.6mpg.

The resulting whole-life costs come in at £36,125 over three years and 60,000 miles, more than £1000 better than the BMW and Audi, but now nearly £3000 behind the XE. This sees a cost per mile figure of 60.2p.

Mercedes C220 CDI Saloon SE Bluetec 170

P11D price                                                                                      £29,725
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                                               £40
National Insurance                                                                             £2338
Fuel consumption                                                                          70.6mpg
CO2 (tax)                                                                              103g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                                                   £89/£178
Warranty                                                                               3yrs/unltd miles
Boot space                                                                                     480 litres
Engine size/power                                                                  2143cc/170hp
+ Good RVs, powerful and efficient engine
- High P11D and high SMR costs

Alternative rival: Lexus IS

Making a very strong case for itself in fleet costs is the Lexus IS300h. Proving that petrol hybrids can work for businesses and drivers, the IS300h SE sees some impressive figures.

CO2 of 99g/km and no diesel penalty means a 14% BIK banding, while low petrol prices and good 65.7mpg official consumption mean fuel costs that are near identical to the diesel rivals.
Residual values are only just behind the BMW at 32.1%, according to KwikCarcost.

Couple all this to a low P11D price and strong standard spec and the running costs come in at 61.7 pence per mile.

The Lexus also has the advantage (if you see it like that) of being an automatic priced at the same level as the manuals used in this comparison.

Lexus IS 300 Saloon 2.5h SE 223

P11D price                                                           £29,440
Vehicle Excise Duty                                                      £0
National Insurance                                                  £1950
Fuel consumption                                               65.7mpg
CO2 (tax)                                                    99g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month                                       £69/£137
Warranty                                                   3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space                                                         450 litres
Engine size/power                                      2494cc/223hp
+ Great tax position for driver and business
- Residual value